Designed for transporting passengers and often vehicles in addition, the market divides into three main groups. Roll-on-roll-off (roro) ferries tend to be large ships, often operating on relatively short routes such as across the English Channel or the between Greek islands. A new generation of ships is emerging for longer routes, known as cruise-ferries, that offer a higher standard of passenger accommodation and some of the facilities offered by cruise ships. Finally there are fast ferries that tend to be smaller, may have multiple hulls (catamarans) and are often built from aluminium rather than steel.
First Marine International Limited, "Overview of the international commercial shipbuilding industry, Background report", disseminated on the Web site of Directorate-General "Enterprise and Industry" of the European Commission, May 2003